Presenting: The National Gallery of Canada – One of Ottawa’s Treasures

8. What types of programs and activities do you offer?

Education is a critical aspect of the Gallery’s mandate, and a key priority for the Gallery and the CMCP. The Gallery offers a wide range of educational and public programs to schools, families, youth, adults and seniors, and to people with disabilities.
CyberMuse, the Gallery’s on-line educational tool, features the works and artists represented in the permanent collection and is targeted to children, youth and teachers. It offers information on and insight into the world of artists and their work, through images, audio and video presentations, and a growing number of artist interviews and biographies.
Current event information can be found at by following the link to Programs and Activities.

9. Please tell us about the exhibitions that are currently on view at the Gallery.
The current special exhibition Norval Morrisseau – Shaman Artist is on display from 3 February to 30 April 2006.
Norval Morrisseau’ s sublimely colourful and deeply spiritual works have inspired three generations of First Nations artists and made him an icon of Canadian art.
Norval Morrisseau, also called Copper Thunderbird, rose to fame in the 1960s as the originator of the Woodland School. This unique style is now simply called Anishnaabe painting, a term that refers to the artist’s heritage and the archetypal status of his work.
This exhibition features 60 vibrant works, from evocations of ancient symbolic etchings on sacred birchbark scrolls and pictographic renderings of spiritual creatures, to more recent works that are celebrations of pure colour. Morrisseau reveals something of the soul of humanity through colour and his unique “X-ray” style of imaging: Sinewy black “spirit” lines emanate, surround, and link animal and human figures, and skeletal elements and internal organs are visible within their brightly coloured segments.

Norval Morrisseau
Man Changing into Thunderbird
(panel 1 of 6) 1977
acrylic on canvas
153.5 x 125.7 cm
Private collection
© Norval Morrisseau

10. What exhibitions are coming up? What type of exhibitions have you held in the past?

Upcoming exhibitions include Emily Carr: New Perspectives (2 June – 4 September 2006), Edwin Holgate (6 October 2006 – January 2007), Clarence Gagnon, 1881-1942: Dreaming the Landscape (6 October 2006 – January 2007), and Renoir Landscapes (8 June – 9 September 2007).

Past exhibitions have included Christopher Pratt; Leonardo Davinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence; The Group of Seven in Western Canada; the Age of Watteau, Chardin, and Fragonard.

11. Please comment on traveling exhibitions that make the National Gallery accessible to people outside of Ottawa as well.

The Gallery’s Traveling Exhibitions Program is the largest of any art museum in North America, and reaches a broad range of institutions, including those in small and remote communities, as well as audiences abroad. More information on what is near you can be found at in the exhibitions, traveling exhibitions page.

National Gallery of Canada

12. Please tell us about the types of activities and tours available at the National Gallery for adults and children. You also host concerts.

A range of activities are available for children aged 3 and up, teens, adults, and seniors. Our popular After Hours program for adults, thematically linked to our special exhibition, is an opportunity for adults to enjoy an evening of fine art, music and a special menu served to compliment the theme of the evening.
Children’s programming is extensive and includes Esso Family Fundays, Saturday Morning Art Club, Tiny Tots for children aged 3 – 5, March Break and Summer Camps, Birthday Workshops, and Artissimo activities are free with admission and are available on weekends and during holidays for children 3 and up.
Unique programs for children, teens and adults occur in conjunction with special exhibitions please visit for up to date program and registration information.

Guided Tours of the National Gallery’s Permanent Collection are offered at 2 pm from Wednesday to Sunday from 1 October to 30 April, and daily at 2 pm from May through September and are free with gallery admission.
You can now enjoy a personal tour of the Gallery’s famed Canadian collection with our easy-to-use audioguide. This lively recording allows visitors to access over 200 commentaries about the Canadian galleries and individual works in the collection. The audio tour is narrated by radio personalities Karen Flanagan-McCarthy and Steve Madely, and accompanied by music from Canadian recordings. Audioguides for the Canadian collection are available in English, French, Spanish, German and Mandarin. At the Information Desk in the Great Hall. Cost: $3.
Guided Tours for Groups of the Permanent Collection are $6 per person plus admission to the permanent collection with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 25 persons per guide.
Rates for guided group tours of the special exhibitions vary according to each exhibition on view. Minimum of 15 persons per group. Admission dates, times, and prices are subject to change. Please call (613) 990-4888, TDD (613) 990-8340, to confirm details prior to arrival.

National Gallery of Canada

13. Please tell us about the Research Resources that are available at the National Gallery.

Research Resources include the NGC Library and Archives, the Research Fellowship Program, and the provenance research project. The Library is open to the public at select times and it’s catalogue can be searched online at

14. Please tell us about your visitor facilities, shopping opportunities and food services.

Strollers and wheelchairs provided free of charge at the Foyer Information Desk. Audioguides for the permanent collection are available (cost $3) at the information desk in the Great Hall.

Visitors may take pictures for personal use, with a hand-held camera and electronic flash, of works in the permanent collection. It is not permitted to reproduce or sell the photographs, to photograph works on loan, in temporary exhibitions or in the Canadian and Aboriginal Art galleries, or to use a tripod
The Gallery Bookstore sells a variety of fine jewelry, gifts, exhibition merchandise and of course books. A range of foodservice areas are available to Gallery visitors, each offering an interesting and unique variety. Managed by KW Catering and Events, they offer moderately priced food and are licensed to serve beer and wine.

National Gallery of Canada

15. What special events are coming up for 2006 at the National Gallery?

The NGC will feature the work of Emily Carr in the summer of 2006. Best known for her paintings of First Nations villages and landscapes of the northwest Pacific coast, Emily Carr (1871-1945) is the subject of numerous biographies, scholarly articles, documentary films, plays, a musical, an opera, and poetry. Regarded as a writer, environmentalist, feminist icon of Canadian art, defiant Victorian, solitary eccentric, and documenter of Northwest Coast monumental art, she has endured, nevertheless, as a larger-than-life enigma.
The show Emily Carr: New Perspectives (2 June – 4 September 2006) looks at Carr through the historical lens of 20th century exhibitions that presented her work, and in the social and political contexts that defined her world. What emerges is a compelling new portrait of this much-loved artist.
Featured are some 200 objects – paintings, drawings, watercolours, caricatures, ceramics, sculpture, hooked rugs, books, maps, photographs, and ephemera – including about 150 works of art by Carr – on loan from the National Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and major institutions across the country.

Thank you, Katja, for this great overview of the National Gallery.

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